Mini-open versus closed reduction in titanium elastic nailing of paediatric femoral shaft fractures : A comparative study

Published online: Apr 27 2011

Mehmet Akif Altay, Cemil Erturk, Hasan Cece, Ugur Erdem Isikan

From Harran University Faculty of Medicine, Sanliurfa, Turkey


The purpose of this study is to compare retrospectively intraoperative fluoroscopy time and clinical-radiological results in pediatric femoral shaft fractures treated with titanium elastic nailing (TEN), with a mini-open “blind-hand” technique versus closed reduction. The study included 87 children (18 girls and 69 boys) who underwent surgical treatment with TEN for femoral shaft fractures. Patients were divided into two groups. Group 1 included 42 patients (mean age : 8.3 ± 2.7 years) treated with a mini-open “blind-hand” technique (a 2-3 cm lateral incision at the level of the fracture ; reduction achieved with one or two fingers, without visualization of the fracture). Group 2 consisted of 45 patients (mean age : 8.8 ± 2.6 years) treated with a closed reduction technique. Duration of surgery and intraoperative fluoroscopy time were recorded in both groups. Clinical and radiologic results were assessed using the TEN scoring system after mean follow-up periods of 21.3 ± 5.8 months and 19.3 ± 5.6 months in group 1 and group 2, respectively. Mean duration of surgery was 31.7 ± 7.6 and 52.1 ± 14.4 minutes, and mean fluoroscopy time 32.9 ± 22.1 and 75.1 ± 31.5 seconds in group 1 and group 2, respectively. Both surgical and fluoroscopy time were significantly longer in group 2 (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of clinical and radiological results. All fractures healed with solid union, and there was no complication that was expected to cause permanent disability. Although successful clinical and radiological results were obtained with both techniques, duration of surgery and intraoperative fluoroscopy time were significantly higher in the closed reduction group 2. We suggest the “blind-hand” technique as an alternative to closed reduction to prevent extensive intraoperative radiation exposure and to decrease the length of the surgical procedure.